Sunday, October 11, 2009

Forgive Me Internet, For I have Sinned

It has been...well, far too long since my last blog post. In my defense, I've been hard at work on Unthinkable and I've probably "tweeted" over a thousand times. I'm sure if you multiply 240 characters by 1,500 that's enough for a quite a few blog entries.

When last I posted, Unthinkable #3 had just come out in time for Comic-Con. As I write this, all five issues are out, and I'm proofreading the trade paperback, which should be out in the next month or two.

Like most writers, I don't particularly like re-reading my own work. It's a bit easier with comics than with prose, because I get to appreciate how the artist, colorist and letterer brought my work to life. But it's impossible for me to look at old work without thinking of the myriad ways I could have made it better.

Nevertheless, I'm tremendously proud of Unthinkable. I've said before I think it's the best writing I've ever done. I suppose I should be more specific. For a long time, I've struggled with the dilemma of writing something personal that is still something other people want to read. Unthinkable is probably my highest concept, but the execution is very personal.

The protagonist, Alan Ripley, is as close to me as any comics character I've written. He's not only a writer, he's a writer that feels he should be, well, more of a do-er. Particularly when it comes to doing something for his country.

Unthinkable is filled with issues of national security, military foreign policy, my passions. I through just about every terrorist scenario into this series as possible. That may have been a mistake - although I'm very thankful that Boom! gave me 5 issues to tell my story instead of the usual 4 - this is a story I would have preferred to tell in a longer format.

Still, the density of the issues is something that was personal to me as well. My favorite comics - my good friend Brett Lewis' The Winter Men for example 0 are works that don't feel decompressed. They give you your money's worth, and can't be finished before you flush the toilet in a quick trip to the bathroom.

But the most personal thing about Unthinkable may not evident in the work itself. Instead, it's the long journey that brought it from my head to the printed page. And the even longer journey that took me from that of an aspiring writer adapting my fifth spec screenplay (Grounded) into my first comic, to where I am in my comics career today.

I hope to write about that journey a bit more on here soon, hopefully before the Unthinkable trade comes out. I still believe that I can make this blog something that gives interested readers of my work some added value, rather than just spilling my thoughts and promoting my work.

But right now, that story will have to wait. I'm lucky enough to have multiple upcoming projects that demand my attention. I can't announce them yet, but I hope to bring to them the same mix of character driven high concept with a personal touch that I did with Unthinkable. If nothing else, Unthinkable has set a very high bar for my future work.


Melvin Chloe said...

Hi Mark...what a nice posting..n a nice do you choose the words for your written?...hmm..greaattt..I want to learn from you...^^

Javier Suppa said...



Bryce Main said...

Love the words. Keep the faith.